I have wanted to be a fashion and lifestyle writer since I was a little girl. Every month, I’d sit down with my dozens of fashion magazines. You know them. The Teen Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Allure, and Teen Bop of the late 90s and early 2000s. I’d spread them all out, creating a sea of stylish young women with vibrant designer styles. In the middle of this circular pile, I’d sit and read the hundreds of pages I had spread out around me. For hours, on any Saturday morning, I’d sit on the floor of my bedroom and skim the glossy pages of the magazines.
While I read, I’d earmark the styles I wanted to mimic with my limited budget or cut them out to add to a collage or fashion inspiration board.
Living in a small beach town 90 miles from Los Angeles and 3,000 miles from New York City, my dreams of becoming a fashion intern or editor were beyond their physical distance.
Fast forward twenty years and that little girl lives as close to her dream as possible. Instead of relying on someone to hire me to write for their fashion website or magazine, I’ve created my own.
I’ve been doing this for about two years now, and there are many lessons I’ve learned along the way. If you are starting your fashion, lifestyle, or even cooking or wellness blog, here are some lessons I learned and would like to pass on.
Don’t play the comparison game.
Playing the comparison game early in my blogging career affected my mental health, motivation, and creativity. There are many beautiful, talented, and stylish bloggers and influencers on social media, and each brings something different to the landscape.
I’d often start by scrolling my Instagram, and one fashion content creator or influencer would pop up in my feed, which would lead to another, and so on. I would follow them to get inspiration. Instead, my mind would go differently, and I’d compare my content, follower numbers, and style to theirs.
I’d begin looking at my content, compare it to theirs, and ask the wrong questions that no woman should ask themselves, like, why don’t I look like them, why doesn’t my content live up to theirs, and why is my fashion not as polished as theirs, and so on. This would often occur in the late hours of the night or before bed when I can do nothing to make myself feel better except self-loathe and feel helpless. Which, if you didn’t know already–gets you nowhere.
So, my advice. Don’t play the comparison game. Your content is just that–YOUR content. It makes you an individual in the sea of billions of other accounts. It’s what will stop people from scrolling to visit you and your page and engage with your content. There is enough room for every face, style, voice, and contribution.
To stand out, make your content reflect your individuality, personality, and style. It’ll go a long way.
Don’t worry about what others may or may not think.
I was too shy as I was creating my contention and establishing my brand voice. It was all due to being afraid of what my friends, colleagues, or friends may think of this new endeavor I had.
The truth of the matter is no one is going to judge you, especially those who genuinely care about you. So, if you’re hesitant to start putting your ideas out there, remember you are courageous, and people will admire and applaud you.
I struggled with thinking about what others thought about me a lot in the beginning, and it did me a major disservice. It kept me from doing the marketing and promoting for my blog’s brand that it deserved.
Remember all the hard work and dedication you put into your content. Don’t let it get hidden. Please share it.
Embrace the Creative Process.
Building and creating anything takes time. As difficult as it may be to accept it, time is your friend.
I have a bit of a challenge with working a full-time, 8-5, Monday through Friday job, so the time I dedicate to my blog is short but precious, so I make the most of it when I do.
The creative process of building a blog and The Applause brand has taught me a lot about time management, productivity, and organization.
I’m still learning as I go, but over the last three years, I’ve learned to commit at least 2-4 hours a week to my blog posts and the same amount of time to creating content. So, all together, I dedicated 8-10 hours a week on my blog.
To make the most of those 8-10 hours, I create deadlines, so I make sure I get at least one blog post done from those 2-4 hours and at least one Reel or 2-3 style guides I can share on my socials (i.e., TikTok, Instagram).
I may sound like a broken record saying this, but give yourself time. If you enjoy it, the process will be better than hitting publish and walking away from your computer for the day. I love creating content and being creative.
Every day, I’m inspired to create something new, but it doesn’t mean I create something new every day, so prioritize.
Lastly, remember consistency is key. I want to underscore that “consistency” while I understand its formal definition, I’m reframing it for you slightly differently in this post. That is because, for everyone, consistency looks different. That was, and still is, the case for me. Some months, I’d post one to two times a week; other months, it would be more. But, my consistency was monthly. I rarely went a month without posting at least one blog post or sharing 2-3 style guides.
Show your community your commitment to engaging with them and bringing them fresh content.
And, if you’ve hit a creative wall, burnout, or a break, keep them updated; let them know. They’ll appreciate it.
- Don’t compare your content. Create it.
- Don’t worry about what your community may think about what you’re creating. Create it with good, kind intentions and with your voice, and they will embrace it.
- Embrace the creative process.
- Create a schedule and system that works for you and allows consistency.
- Communicate with your audience. They are your community, and to invest their time in engaging with your content, they need to know that you’re invested in them, too. Show it by communicating.